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Atal Pension Yojana turns 5; e-APY to become reality this year, says PFRDA chief

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on May 11, 2020 Published on May 11, 2020

PFRDA Chairman Supratim Bandyopadhyay

With 2.23 crore customers, the pension scheme’s corpus stood at ₹11,000 crore as of March 31, 2020

You as a subscriber of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) — a government-backed pension scheme targeted at the unorganised sector — can soon make adjustments throughout the year to the defined monthly pension amount that you would want to receive on turning 60 years of age, a top official said.

This will be a big benefit for APY subscribers as the option to increase or reduce the pension amount was hitherto available only in the first month (April) of the fiscal, Supratim Bandyopadhyay, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) told BusinessLine.

“We have now decided that an APY subscriber can upgrade or lower the pension amount that he is aiming for throughout the year. Initially, it was allowed in April. Anybody who misses April, they had to wait for the entire year before they could change it,” he said.

Sharing the progress made by APY in its five-year journey since launch — it was launched on May 9, 2015 — Bandyopadhyay said that this government-backed pension scheme had 2.23 crore customers and overall corpus of about ₹11,000 crore as of end March 2020.

 

He said there has been some temporary halt to the growth of APY this fiscal due to the impact of Covid-19 induced lockdown. Bandyopadhyay, however, expressed confidence that things will return back to normal by end September. “Our distributors and intermediaries are well geared up to take it forward once things are back and situation turns normal,” he said.

Best year so far

Bandyopadhyay said that the just ended 2019-20 was the best year so far in the five-year journey of APY as it had added as many as 69 lakh new subscribers (56 lakh subscribers in 2018-19). From a level of 1.54 crore subscribers as of end March 2019, the subscriber base had gone up to 2.23 crore with net addition to corpus of ₹3,500 crore, taking the overall corpus to ₹11,000 crore. In the last years, the APY corpus has yielded a compounded annual growth rate of 9 per cent.

Bandyopadhyay also said that PFRDA is hopeful of introducing the facility of e-APY this year, which will enable its subscribers to make contributions digitally on the lines of e-NPS that is already available. “This will enable many to subscribe and contribute to APY from the confines of their homes,” he added.

Plans are also afoot to partner with more payments bank such as Airtel Payments Bank and small finance bank such as ESAF, he said.

The partnership with Airtel Payments Bank is particularly yielding good results as they last year brought in 3 lakh new APY subscribers, which is a commendable effort, he added.

Published on May 11, 2020

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